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Workshop on the History of Arabic Logic

7th May 2019 - 8th May 2019

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Since the last century, scholars have acknowledged the original and relevant contribution of medieval Arabic philosophers and thinkers to the development of medieval Western logic and, more generally, to the history of logic.
The study of logic in Arabic began with the translation project undertaken in the eighth century CE during the Umayyad era, and fostered by the Abbasid Caliphate, whose capital was Baghdad, to make the great works of Greek science, including those of Aristotle, accessible to the Arabic world. The study of Aristotle led in time to important and original creations by such figures as al-Farabi in the tenth century and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) in the eleventh, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi in the twelfth, and al-Tusi in the thirteenth. Avicenna, in particular, introduced novel ideas on the hypothetical syllogism, and on modal and temporal logic. A modified Avicennan logic took the place of Aristotelian logic in Arabic studies of the subject after his time.
Arabic logic had a strong but largely indirect influence on Latin medieval logic. Although translations of small parts of al-Ghazali’s and Avicenna’s logic (in a broad sense) were transmitted in Latin, the influence came mainly through translations of the Aristotelian commentaries of Averroes, who was working in Cordoba in Muslim Spain in the twelfth century, in close contact with Christendom.

The Workshop on History of Arabic Logic has two main aims: to make better known the richness and importance of Arabic logic, that is, logic developed and studied in Arabic-speaking lands from the 8th to the 15th centuries CE; and to provide a forum for interaction and discussion by scholars of Arabic logic.

Invited Speakers:

Saloua Chatti (Tunis)
Khaled El-Rouayheb (Harvard)
Wilfrid Hodges (British Academy)
Riccardo Strobino (Tufts)

Call for Papers: We invite contributions focusing both on the logic developed and studied in Arabic-speaking lands from the 8th to the 15th centuries CE and on its influence on Medieval Western logic. Accepted presentations will be 1 hour in length including time for questions.

To submit your contribution for consideration, please send an abstract (around 500 words) along with a short CV (max. 1 page) to the organisers Prof. Stephen Read and Dr Barbara Bartocci (bb66@st-andrews.ac.uk). The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 1, 2019. Notification concerning the acceptance of abstracts will be provided to the corresponding authors by February 22, 2019. Presenters should arrange their own conference travel and accommodation.

We warmly encourage submissions and/or attendance by members of groups underrepresented in academic philosophy.

Bursaries: We are also able to offer a small number of bursaries for graduate students, consisting of accommodation and meals during the workshop. To apply for a bursary, please submit an application with a short CV and a supporting letter from your supervisor by February 1, 2019 to Dr Barbara Bartocci. We hope to make decisions by February 22, 2019.

Childcare: through the generosity of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, in order to guarantee a demographically diverse participation we are able offer financial assistance with childcare during the Workshop. Please email Dr Barbara Bartocci with details of the childcare needed.

Registration: we will publish details of registration early in the New Year.

We are grateful to the University of St Andrews, via the Arché Research Centre, to the British Logic Colloquium, to the British Society for the History of Philosophy and to the Scots Philosophical Association for financial support.

Scots Philosophical Association


7th May 2019
8th May 2019


Stephen Read
Barbara Bartocci


Hebdomadar’s Room
St Salvator's Quad
St Andrews, KY169AL United Kingdom
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